Overcoming Language Barriers When Studying Abroad

5 minute read
Overcoming Language Barriers When Studying Abroad

Once you find the perfect programme that you wish to pursue during your studies abroad, you are more than ready to commence this exciting adventure. However, you may find yourself facing a gush of emotions and anxieties that makes you wonder how you will cope with an unknown new world. Studying abroad can change a student’s life, providing them with immense experience as well as fruitful opportunities. But in the initial phase of settling in, international students may face some difficulties once they reach the country. One of those problems is that they don’t speak the native language of the country, creating language barriers. This may overwhelm many students but you should not worry because there are several ways by which you can easily get over this phase. Scroll ahead to find out! 


What Does a Language Barrier Mean?

A language barrier can be seen as a block or barrier in communication that happens between people speaking different dialects or languages.

Following are some examples of a language barrier:

The difference in the Dialects seems to be more of a regional problem rather than a national one. There can be many differences subtle as well as visible in both general and local slang. There can also be a difference in the cultural norms that are prevalent within the language. 

Language Disabilities: Not necessarily all barriers related to language are due to nationality, there can also be some that are unique to the individual. Some examples of this are accents, dysphonia, stuttering, articulation disorder, hearing loss or even speech impediments.

Also Read: Tips to Improve your English before Studying Abroad

What Problems Can Language Barriers Cause When Traveling Abroad?

If you don’t know the language of a country then you could face significant miscommunication. This may cause a blockage in the development of relationships the students want to make with their classmates or with others. Miscommunication may form misconceptions about the person which may also lead to irritation, conflict, offence, damaged feelings, and violence, as well as the waste of people’s effort, time, money, and lives. If the person loses their ability to communicate in the verbal form then even simple things like ordering food or even purchasing a bottle of water might turn out to be challenging.

Also Read: How to Learn New Languages?

How to Overcome Language Barriers when Studying Abroad?

Fret not! It is not necessary you will stay in this situation for a long time. For this, we have curated some of the tips that you can use in order to overcome these language barriers.

Find Support Groups that may be Working for International Students

There are many international students that you may find around you. So it is obvious that you are not the only one that might be facing this problem. These support groups may be started by your university. You might also be able to find programmes that are government-funded. Moreover, many associations as well as NGOs also help international students. These groups may organise courses on culture and language. They might also organise activities such as cooking classes or film nights which will let you communicate with others and help you better integrate into the community.

Make Local as well as International Students your Friends 

If you make local students your friends, then they can help you know and discover everything about the country’s culture. They can also help you improve your language skills. Apart from this you can also make friends with other international students as you will be able to share your problems with them as they are in the same boat as you. 

Watch Movies and TV Shows to Overcome Language Barriers

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to start learning a new language is by watching tv shows and movies in that language. The movies also help you understand the accent well as you listen to the actors and actresses talk in the same accent. You can also pause the movie as and when you want and also watch it with subtitles so that you can understand it better. Moreover, as the movie has a storyline, it becomes easier as well as fun to learn this new language!

Also Read: Easy Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Opt for Programs like Language Exchange, and Casual Meet-ups

Apart from the conventional language learning classes, you can also participate in language exchange programs and meet-ups. These meet-ups let the local and foreign students swap their languages for a while. Hence, this can be seen as a very good way for international students to interact and engage with local students. 

Invest in a Language Dictionary

You can always look up for translations but these translations will not necessarily be reliable for longer texts. Hence, keeping a dictionary with you is the best option as it gives you the exact and correct meaning of every word in the native language of that country! You can get familiar with the local phrases and also some other language nuances.

If you are a study abroad aspirant and worried about the cost of studying, connect with Fly. Finance and consult with experts to know more about your study abroad expenses.


Is the language barrier a challenge for studying abroad?

The language barrier can be seen as one of the most common challenges that students studying abroad face. 

What difficulties you face when you learn foreign languages?

Following are some of the obstacles you might face when you are trying to learn a new language:
You may doubt your abilities
You may be anxious and fearful about speaking with others
There may be a lack of opportunities to practice
You may face a loss of motivation

What is the most challenging part of learning foreign languages?

One difficult part of learning a new language may be the pronunciation and not the grammar. Moreover, mastering the vocabulary may be one of the most difficult parts to accomplish.

We hope this blog has given you enough information about overcoming language barriers while studying abroad. In case you need more information, you can always contact our study abroad experts at Leverage Edu!

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